So let's get something out of the way first -- I never watched the original version of this show. This wasn't a conscious decision, born out of spite or malice or snobbery or xenophobia or laziness -- it's largely because I only recently learned that the British even had television. I mean, honestly, I thought they still passed their time forking over a haypenny to see plays or bear-baiting or mourning their lost empire or something. Which is my way of saying, if you're looking for a line-by-line breakdown of the differences and similarities between this edition of Life on Mars and its source material, I'm afraid that's a service I'll be unable to provide. All's I can offer is a recap of the proceedings, my occasional commentary on whether this show works on its own terms, a minimum of tedious digressions, and the occasional dick joke. Fair enough? Good.
Oh, one other thing -- the shows I recap around here tend not to last more than 10 episodes at most so... uh... let's not get too attached to each other just yet, all right?
We open on New York City, which, at last check, is not located anywhere in the British Empire. A jeep, with police sirens flashing is making its way through the streets of Brooklyn, and the occupants of the jeep are arguing. Given that one of those occupants is Lisa Bonet, it might be reasonable to assume that they are arguing over whether that Cosby Show spinoff was a good career move, but no -- it's Sam Tyler (Jason O'Mara) and Maya Daniels (the aforementioned ex-Cosby kid) who are inside the jeep arguing. About some case they're investigating? Nah -- they're partners in more than just crime, apparently, and they're arguing over his commitment phobia. (She says he was making noise about wanting to meet her folks; he counters that he was probably drunk when he said such a thing.) Your argument has grown tiresome -- get to the crime-solving, Bickersons!
Ask and ye shall receive: the jeep and a bunch of other squad cars pull up in front of a down-at-heels Brooklyn apartment complex, where they are greeted by Clark Peters, who played Freamon on The Wire. Confidential to any Life on Mars producers who may be reading this: If you can contrive a way where Clark Peters travels back in time with Jason O'Mara, I promise to abuse the power of my recapping post to relentlessly pimp your show until every man, woman, and child in America is watching it or at least telling the Nielsen people that they are. Deal? While I'm busy using my powers for good, the Detective Formerly Known as Freamon is bringing Sam and Maya up to speed: There's a suspected serial killer holed up in the apartment building, and that cadre of armor-clad police officers are there to bring him to justice.